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In Memory of P. Q. Gardner

September 16th, 2015 by

PQ Gardner

Paul Quinton (PQ) Gardner, a businessman, former educator, World War II veteran, and lifelong resident of Drew County, age 91 died September 15, 2015, at his home in Monticello, Arkansas.

He was born December 29, 1923 to John Milton and Lela Belle High Gardner, in Drew County, Arkansas. He was preceded in death by his wife, donna Townley Gardner; the mother of his children, Christine “Tina” Donham Gardner; three brothers, Buford, Lewis, and Ray Gardner; his son in law, David Charles (Dave) Lipton.

Survivors include his daughters, Brenda Gardner Lipton and Bonnie Gardner Ellis and husband Robert of Monticello; three grandchildren, Beth Ellis of Glenford, Ohio, Chad Gardner and wife Brooke of Benton, Arkansas, and Rob Ellis of Monticello; four great grandchildren, Deryk, Morgan, Reagen, and Reid. He is also survived by Donna’s children, Kim Laney of Little Rock and Erik Wallace of Hong Kong; his daughters in law Donna Menotti Gardner and Sheila Hall Gardner of Monticello; and Donna’s son, Jay Holthuff of Bryant.

PQ was an aerial gunner/radio operator in the Army Air Corps in WWII and then spent several years in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.
For years he worked in school systems in Southeast Arkansas in different positions beginning as a teacher and finally becoming superintendent of schools at Drew Central Schools, Monticello, Arkansas, his alma mater.

During his career, PQ owned and operated a number of businesses in Southeast Arkansas including cable systems in Monticello and Warren, which he built, and four radio stations including KGPQ (which carries the initials of his name). He also owned an insurance agency, motels, and video stores. His real estate business, Gardner Realty, closed after more than fifty years in business when PQ joined Ray Ryburn Real Estate as principal broker in 2011.

He was active in many groups and organizations over the years. Included in this long list are Drew Memorial Hospital Board, Drew County Election Commission, Arkansas Real Estate Commission, Monticello City Council, and Drew County Quorum Court. Currently, he continued to be active in the VFW, American Legion, Methodist Men’s Coffee Club, Lions Club, South Arkansas Realtors, Eastern Star, Monticello Senior Citizens, and Monticello’s First Baptist Church.
He received many honors and awards in his 91 years; some of the most recent were his selection to Drew Central Schools Hall of Fame in 2007; 2010 Man of the Year by the Monticello-Drew County Chamber of Commerce/MEDC; and UAM’s Continuing the Connection award on 2011.

Visitation will be Friday, September 18, from 6- 8; service Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Burial in Oakland Cemetery with military honors. Memorials may be made to Hope Place, 103 North Main, Monticello, AR, First Baptist Church, 413 North Main, Monticello, AR 71655 or Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home, P O Box 427, Monticello, AR 71657.

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3 Responses to “In Memory of P. Q. Gardner”

  1. jerry webb says:

    truly a great man

  2. Bishop Sam Wherry says:

    P.Q. Gardner in the later part of the 20th Century was one of the pioneer entitles that transformed Monticello into Technology advancements and outreach to First World Cultural enrichment via his founding of Cable Vision and development of several Radio Stations, This Giant of a man was relentless in joining forces with local and regional leadership in the development of Commercial and Residential Real Estate that gives Monticello the The Distinction of being the Role Model/Flagship City of Southeast Arkansas. P.Q. Gardner was an Administrative Educator and the Drew Central School District moved to it’s next level and beyond during his tenure as well his unconditional support for the University of Arkansas Monticello and the Health Complex of the city. He Loved God and showed it in his unconditional Mission in being fruitful and multiplying his community and region of service. Heaven cannot Help but be Shinning upon Him for He done His job so well the living the dead or unborn could not do t any better.
    P.Q. GARDNER

  3. Sherry Ellis O'Neill-Rawls says:

    We all must pass to the other side, but this event saddens me beyond measure. I have many fond memories of my friend Mr. PQ. I met him when I entered 6th grade & he was my teacher & Elementary Principal. I have never forgotten that he always found the time to listen to my problems, & that is very important to an 11 year old. Mr. PQ also brought a TV to school that year & we spent the day watching the first American astronaut launched into space. He said that it was an historic event & it was important that we witness it. Years later, when I mentioned all this as I introduced my children to him, he was so affected that tears came to his eyes.
    In 2011, I served as Worthy Matron of the Order Of The Eastern Star in Monticello. During this year I was honored to be able to present Mr. PQ with his 50 year membership pin. Upon discovering that he joined Eastern Star the same year that he was my sixth grade teacher, I told him that I now knew why he was bald. Apparently the stress & frustration of having to deal with me as a student made him pull all his hair out! He found that idea highly amusing & laughed that unique little laugh of his.
    Mr. PQ will always hold a very special place in my heart & he will be genuinely missed by those of us who knew & loved him.

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